COMBINING PROGRESS WITH TRADITION
For generations, the Pichler family has struck that elusive balance between innovation and tradition. This rare ability to apply visionary ideas to the characteristics of local life manifested itself in achievements such as the historical ‘Bergführerhäusl’ – essentially Austria’s first mountain guide agency – and the Hotel Glocknerhof. With the Nationalpark Lodge Grossglockner, we now embark on a new era of alpine tourism, with a focus on authentic experiences close to nature.
Traders, pilgrims and alpine pioneers.
Centuries ago, ‘Säumer’ caravans frequently made their way across the Alps – their pack-horses laden with valuable goods such as salt, wine and gold. When travelling from the north, they traversed the mountains via the Hochtor pass to Heiligenblut, before continuing on to Venice. At that time, the place where our hotel stands today was a rest stop and horse changing station, providing overnight lodgings for the weary ‘Säumer’ on their arduous journey south.
From 1642 onwards, our ancestors provided accommodation for the pilgrims flocking to the village to revere the famous vial of ‘Heiligen Bluet’ (holy blood) displayed within the parish church.And finally, the beginning of the 19th century brought an influx of early alpinists with their hearts set on the Grossglockner – inspired by its first ascent in 1800.
For these ambitious pioneers, finding a local guide familiar with the high-alpine terrain was essential to the success of their endeavour. In 1858, the innkeepers of the ‘Glocknerwirt’ took on the task of connecting visiting explorers with knowledgable locals. Today, the very spot in which they planned their expeditions has been turned into our Pioneers’ Bar, where modern-day adventurers can meet, relax – and gather information on how to plan their perfect holiday.
Upsurge in tourism.
In 1928, even before the construction of the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road brought a major boost to the region’s tourism, our grandfather, Hans Pichler, built the Hotel Glocknerwirt. In 1972, this evolved into the Hotel Glocknerhof – soon establishing itself as the leading hotel in Heiligenblut. The Pichler family continued to be known as trailblazers within their field, both in Heiligenblut and the wider region.
In 2016 and 2017, we embarked on a major refurbishment of the hotel’s architectural and interior design, as well as a comprehensive overhaul of the range of services we offer to our guests. And so the tradition-steeped Hotel Glocknerhof was transformed into the innovative Nationalpark Lodge Grossglockner.
Both the interior refurbishment and structural expansion were overseen by South-Tyrolean architect Christina Biasi-von Berg, who skilfully combined the building’s existing architectural and stylistic features with a thoroughly modern approach. Visual references to the region’s agricultural traditions, enhanced by elements of contemporary alpine chic, have been carefully integrated into the overall design. The result is an eclectic mix of styles that generates a relaxed, inviting atmosphere – creating a perfect place to cosy up before braving the invigorating wilderness outside.
This is your chance to see the Hohe Tauern mountains in their lesser-known and untamed form: with our Into the Wild programme we aim to introduce our guests to the untouched beauty of the Hohe Tauern National Park in relaxed and easygoing excursions. We take you to places that are off the beaten track, so you can truly experience this unique natural environment with all your senses – before once again returning to the four-star comforts of the Nationalpark Lodge.